Feral Notwithstanding,
Natives are Not Wasteful with Subsistence Food

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / April 19, 2004

I am writing to you in regard to the April 4 article, "Feral says fight will be fierce," by Joel Gay. I was born and raised in Dillingham, and my grandparents and their families are from Nome.

I have eaten seal since I was a baby and I'm sure that many other Alaska Natives have too.

Saying, "She witnessed the annual Pribilof Islands fur seal harvest, in which thousands of animals were clubbed to death and their pelts sold for furs," is a half truth. It says nothing about how we ate the meat or utilized the animal for food (for example, the intestines, heart, liver, brain matter, etc.), which insinuates that we are wasteful people. We Alaska Natives have never been wasteful with our subsistence foods. Our native foods are very precious to us. Also, we are very proud of our culture, heritage and diversity.

"Sacrifice some lame ideas," she says. Yes, aerial wolf hunting is a little unfair, but it's to balance the population of predator to prey, not for "boosting moose stocks for subsistence hunters."

If Feral or anyone else lived in a rural village for two weeks, they would have a better understanding of our way of life -- our fishing, hunting and trapping.

-- Samantha Small / Anchorage

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